Once again, it’s been quite a while since I’ve been here. This is mostly due to life in transition. With starting a new job, which also included a big change in shift, and finishing my first semester of schooling in many years, I have found myself very busy. Praise the Lord He has been with me and brought me through all my busyness and even now fills my heart with joy and inspiration to continue my journey along NT Route 3:16. Thank you for waiting and for your prayers. I know you have been praying, I can just tell.
On our journey, the next stop is Mark 3:16. “And He appointed the twelve: Simon (to whom He gave the name Peter).” Now I know that the Lord has set me on this journey because there is something for me to discover at each stop that He will use to edify my life and the lives of those with whom I share, but when I got here, I was really stumped. Here there only seems to be a small portion of an over-all message, and on top of that, it’s just a list. True, a list of very important names, but still, just a list. What, oh what could there possibly be here to impact my own life. It’s just a part of a list, not even a complete thought…But wait, WAIT. I do see it. I see a complete whole message in this one verse of scripture, and I see how it applies to me.
The message hidden in Mark 3:16 actually becomes more clear when you read it without some of the words. The verse says “He appointed” and then points out one of the appointed to whom He gave a new name. Oh how very clear this verse spells out the vital importance of being appointed by God! It is so important, because when Jesus is the one who makes the appointment, it is for real! It is for real, and He will bring it to pass! If we set out of our own accord, we are very likely doomed to failure, but when we answer the call of God’s anointed appointment we are most assuredly destine to succeed.
I have taught for many years and whole heartedly believe that God uses every person who ever has and ever will live to fulfill His purpose. He appoints each and every one of us to be used to carry His name into all the earth and speak it forth to every living creature. Yet He leaves us with a choice. The choice we have is to receive His appointment as a blessing or a curse. For example, Moses was blessed as he moved in his appointment to lead the people of Israel out of Egypt and to the land of Canaan. On the other hand, the Pharaoh was cursed as he refused to move in his appointment to release the Hebrews and let them go with Moses. How much more wonderful it is to move in the appointment of the Lord.
The other key point in this verse is that Jesus had given Simon another name. In answering his appointment, Simon was to be known as Peter. This point is key to each of us, because it points out the importance in realizing, accepting and moving in the fact that as we surrender our lives to Jesus we too should become known by another name. No I’m not necessarily saying that we need a different name, but what I see here at Mark 3:16 is that when we have surrendered to Jesus, people should be able to recognize that we are a different person. When they hear our name, it should call to their memory a person who is devoted to living for God. The only way people can recognize such a difference is if it is true.
As I was reading one morning, the Lord expanded this understanding to me through the life of another person from the Bible, whose name was Jedidiah. I discovered in 2 Samuel 12:24-25, that when God sent the Prophet to the King to tell the name of his new baby was Jedidiah, He also sent word through the Prophet that the name means, beloved of God”. God proclaimed this name on the child because from his very beginning, God loved him. While Jedidiah was very much a great King, in the long run, he did not live by the name God had given him, and by the time he died he had pretty much turned from God to live by the name given him by his earthly father and in his earthly father’s womanizing ways. While he had been proclaimed by God as Jedidiah, he lived and died by the name Solomon. What a shame for the most wise man who ever lived, that he died as Solomon the king who turned to the gods of his wives, instead of Jedidiah the beloved of God. I guess it just goes to show that how you finish is so much more important than how you start, and how you finish is all about how you live today (and tomorrow), not how you lived yesterday.